I had a few options for floor coverings in the new laundry, with tile, lino, polished concrete and even some engineered floating floorboards being suitable for wet areas and looking relatively nice. In the end I went with tiles, as they were by far the cheapest option… now I need to learn how to lay tiles.
Turns out, laying tiles was not all that hard here is what I needed to do the job.
Choose some tiles
In this case I went with the cheapest option from bunnings, not actually because they were cheap, but because I liked them (…and yeah, because they were cheap). Bunnings sells “Mystic Slate” floor tiles for $11.05 per square metre, and they are pretty good. As it was my first time laying tiles I bought more than I would need in case i broke any (I did).
The tiles are 300mm x 300mm with a slight bevel on the edges and are a pretty good colour for floors as they wear well and don’t show up dirt to readily, and also provide good contrast when the rest of a space is predominately white (which is usually the case for wet rooms).slate colour. Also, Bunnings sells them all the time so if you need more late for whatever reason you can get them. I have actually used these tiles since doing this laundry to do two bathroom floors and another laundry floor and I have been happy each time. One problem I have come across before is that some times the tiles are not exactly square, with one side being a couple of millimeters longer than the other which is easy to fix if you are aware it is a problem
Tile Cutting Tool
I needed a tile cutter to trim tile to size for the corners and edges. A tile cutter work by having a little cutting wheel that scores the tile in a straight line, and then a lever which breaks the tile along that line fairly neatly. It is quiet, and quick and essential to have if you are doing any quantity of tiling.
You need to make sure the tile cutter you get is big enough for the size tiles you want to cut. I bought this tile cutter which will cut up to 600mm tiles (although I only needed half that). It works well.
Diamond Cutting Diskcfor Small Angle Grinder
I needed to use an angle grinder to cut notches out of tiles when going around corners coming into the doorway. A diamond disc will cut the tile the best, although it is still hard to do a neat job of it.
You can get different kinds of diamond discs for different surfaces so might be best to read the packaging!
Tile Adhesive Glue is used to actually stick the tiles down. It comes as a powder that you mix with water (you can also buy it premixed) and screed it across the floor and place the tiles on top.
Normally I will plan a project and will buy everything I can online, as it is much cheaper and also I can do all the planning and ordering at night and just wait for it to turn up. In this case it is much more affordable to buy tile glue in store than online, and it i something that is good to be able to grab on short notice if you suddenly find yourself needing more. The Davco stuff is pretty good, as is the Dunlop stuff. Some glue is only for floors, and some is for walls as well. Some glue is also rated to be more water proof than other brands, which I think would be more pressing if laying on timber subfloor or non water-proof wall material. I just use the bog-standard stuff that is about $15 for a 20kg bag which is more than I need for most jobs.
A tiling trowel is used to spread out the tile cement evenly. Tile trowels have notches on the side, and the size of these notches depends on the size of the tile, and if you are tiling the the wall or the floor.
For 300×300 tiles on the floor I used a 10mm notched trowel that I bought here, although you can get plastic disposable trowels from Bunnings for just a few dollars so it really depends on how much tiling is in your future!
Tile spacers are little plastic crosses that are used to space tiles evenly. They come is a variety of sizes so you just need to decide how big you want the gap between tiles to be. I used 2mm spacers which I bought here that did the job. I recommend getting more that you think you will need as I always seem to run short.
Grout goes between the tiles and ties the whole job together. I have used the Dunlop Flexible Coloured Grout on a few jobs now and it works well. Flexible is important especially on walls where there may be some movement as if it isn’t flexible it will crack and flake away.
I went with the “midnight black” colour which I think went well with the slate tiles. All grout tents to discolour over time, and lighter colours fade faster so for floors in particular it is good to use a darker grout if you can. I used a little under 2kg of grout for the laundry floor, and this allowed me to do two coats for a great finish.
Other items required
You will also need these items: (just grab them from your local super market)
Some folks also recommend these items, but I am on the fence over their necessity and\or usefulness.
This should be all you need to cut, align, glue and grout a tile floor. Any questions or comments please share!
Farmhouse Laundry Renovation Series
Part 1 – Planning and Chimney Demolition
Part 2 – Plumbing
Part 3 – Sheeting and Roofing
Part 4 – New Cement Slab Floor
Part 5 – Building an Internal Wall
Part 6 – Floating Bench Top